STUFF THAT MAKES YOU CRY
The Symbol of the Rock
I met an old pastor's wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn't believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time. But one day when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking - the first of his life. And she told him that he would have to go outside himself and find a switch for her to hit him with. The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, "Mama, I couldn't find a switch, but here's a rock that you can throw at me."
All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child's point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone. And the mother took the boy onto her lap and they both cried. She then laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. And that is something I think everyone should keep in mind. Because violence begins in the nursery - one can raise children into violence.
-- Astrid Lindgren --
There was a woman who had been diagnosed with cancer and had been given 3 months to live. Her doctor told her to start making preparations to die (something we all should be doing all of the time). So she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what she wanted to be wearing. The woman also told her pastor that she wanted to be buried with her favorite Bible. Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something very important to her. "There's one more thing." She said excitedly. "What's that?" came the pastor's reply. "This is very important, " the woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand." The pastor stood looking at the woman not knowing quite what to say. "That shocks you, doesn't it?" the woman asked. "Well, to be honest, I"m puzzled by the request," said the pastor. The woman explained. "In all my years of attending church socials and functions where food was involved (and let's be honest, food is an important part of any church event (spiritual or otherwise); my favorite part was when whoever was cleaning away the dishes of the main course would lean over and say ' You can keep your fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming. When they told me to keep my fork I knew that something great was about to be given to me. It wasn't Jell-O pudding. It was cake or pie. Something with substance. So I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder 'What's with the fork?' Then I want you to tell them: 'Something better is coming so keep your fork, too.' "The pastor's eyes were welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman goodbye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that that woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She KNEW that something better was coming. At the funeral people were walking by the woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and her favorite Bible and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over the Pastor heard the question "What's with the fork?" And over and over he smiled. During his message the Pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either... He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you, oh so gently, that there is something better coming.
A Full Box of Kisses
We often learn the most from our children. The story goes that some time ago, a man punished his 3-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree. Never the less, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said "This is for you, Daddy." He was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found the box was empty. He yelled at her, "Don't you know that when you give someone a present, there's supposed to be something inside it?" The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Daddy it is not empty. I blew kisses into the box. All for you, Daddy." The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged for her forgiveness. It is told that the man kept that gold box by his bed for years and whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there. In a very real sense, each of us as parents has been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.
Welcome to Holland
"I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this........
When you're going to have a Baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in italian. It's all very exciting. After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags, and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland." "Holland?!?", you say. "What do you mean, Holland? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. all my life I've dreamed of going to Italy." But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland, and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place. So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrandt's. But everyone you know is coming and going from Italy, and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, "Yes that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned." The pain of that will never, ever, ever go away; because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss. But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the special, the very lovely things about Holland."
-- by Emily Perl Kingsley --
There once was a little boy who wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies and a six-pack of root beer, and he started his journey. When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old man. He was sitting in the park just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old man looked hungry so he offered him a Twinkie. He gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. His smile was so incredible that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him a root beer. Once again, he smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word. As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave, but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old man and gave him a hug. The old man gave him his biggest smile ever. When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy in his face. She asked him, "What did you do today that made you so happy?" He replied, "I had lunch with God." But before his mother could respond, he added, "You know what? He's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!" Meanwhile, the old man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and he asked, "Father, what did you do today that made you so happy?" He replied, "I ate Twinkies in the park with God." But before his son responded, he added, "You know, he's much younger than I expected." Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Embrace all equally!
Don't grieve for me
Don't grieve for me
For now I'm free
I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to work or play
Tasks left undone must stay that way
I've found that peace at the close of the day
If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remembered joy
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
All these things I too shall miss
Be not burdened with times of sorrow
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow
My life's been full, I have savored much
Good friends, good times, a loved one's touch
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief
Lift up you heart and share with me
For now, my friends, I'm truly free
Heaven In the Yellow Pages
Mommy went to heaven, but I need her here today
My tummy hurts and I fell down I need her right away
Operator can you tell me how to find her in this book
Is heaven in the yellow part I don't know where to look
I think my daddy needs her too - at night I hear him cry
I hear him call her name sometimes
But i really don't know why
Maybe if I call her she will hurry home to me
Is heaven very far away is it across the sea
She's been gone a long long time
She needs to come home now
Help me find the number please
is it listed under heaven
I can't read these big big words I am only seven
I'm sorry operator I didn't mean to make you cry
Is your tummy hurting too
or is there something in your eye
If I call my church maybe they will know
Mommy said when we need help
that's where we should go
I found the number to my church tacked up on the wall
Thank you operator I will give them a call
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there I do not sleep
I am in a thousand winds that blow
I am the softly falling snow
I am the gentle showers of rain
I am the fields or ripening grain
I am in the morning hush
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight
I am the star-shine of the night
I am in the flowers that bloom
I am in a quiet room
I am the birds that sing
i am in each lovely thing
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there I do not die!
Isn't it amazing how God works in our lives?
On a Saturday night several weeks ago, this pastor was working late, and decided to call his wife before he left for home. It was about 10:00 PM, but his wife didn't answer the phone. The pastor let the phone ring many times. He thought it was odd that she didn't answer, but decided to wrap up a few things and try again in a few minutes. When he tried again she answered right away. He asked her why she hadn't answered before, and she said that it hadn't rung at their house.
They brushed it off as a fluke and went on their merry ways. The following Monday, the pastor received a call at the church office, which was the phone that he'd used that Saturday night. The man that he spoke with wanted to know why he'd called on Saturday night. The pastor couldn't figure out what the man was talking about. Then the man said, "It rang and rang, but I didn't answer." The pastor remembered the mishap and apologized for disturbing him, explaining that he'd intended to call his wife.
The man said, "That's, OK. Let me tell you my story. You see, I was planning to commit suicide on Saturday night, but before I did, I prayed, 'God if you're there, and you don't want me to do this, give me a sign now.' At that point my phone started to ring. I looked at the caller ID, and it said, 'Almighty God'. I was afraid to answer!"
The reason why it showed on the man's caller ID that the call came from "Almighty God" is because the church that the pastor attends is called Almighty God Tabernacle!!
I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying groceries. I wasn't hungry. The pain of losing my husband of 7 years was still too raw. And this grocery store held so many sweet memories. He often came with me and almost every time he'd pretend to go off and look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I'd always spot him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands. He knew I loved yellow roses. With a heart filled with grief, I only wanted to buy my few items and leave, but even grocery shopping was different since he had passed on. Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two.
Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and remembered how he had loved his steak. Suddenly a woman came beside me. She was blonde,slim and lovely in a soft green pantsuit. I watched as she picked up a large pack of T-bones, dropped them in her basket, hesitated, and then put them back. She turned to go and once again reached for the pack of steaks. She saw me watching her and she smiled. "My husband loves T-bones, but honestly, at these prices, I don't know." I swallowed the emotion down my throat and met her pale blue eyes. "My husband passed away eight days ago," I told her. Glancing at the package in her hands, I fought to control the tremble in my voice. "Buy him the steaks. And cherish every moment you have together." She shook her head and I saw the emotion in her eyes as she placed the package in her basket and wheeled away.
I turned and pushed my cart across the length of the store to the dairy products. here I stood, trying to decide which size milk should buy. Quart? I finally decided and moved on to the ice cream. If nothing else, I could always fix myself an ice cream cone. I placed the ice cream in my cart and looked down the aisle toward the front.
I saw first the green suit, and then recognized the pretty lady coming toward me. In her arms she carried a package. On her face was the brightest smile I had ever seen. I would swear a soft halo encircled her blonde hair as she kept walking toward me, her eyes holding mine. As she came closer, I saw what she held and tears began misting in my eyes. "These are for you," she said and placed three beautiful long stemmed yellow roses in my arms.
"When you go through the line, they will know these are paid for." She leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek, then smiled again.
I wanted to tell her what she'd done, what the roses meant, but still unable to speak, I watched as she walked away as tears clouded my vision. I looked down at the beautiful roses nestled in the green tissue wrapping and found it almost unreal. How did she know? Suddenly the answer seemed so clear.
I wasn't alone. Oh, you haven't forgotten me, have you? I whispered, with tears in my eyes. He was still with me, and she was his angel.
Everyday, be thankful for what you have and who you are.